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The Problematic Sternoclavicular Joint

This report reviews conditions of the sternoclavicular joint (SCJ). The SCJ is the joint between the collarbone and the sternum or breastbone. It's the only place where there's a bony connection between the arms and the main body. All other connections are fibrous or cartilage, not bone. Problems in this joint may or may not be painful or symptomatic.

Problems at the SCJ occur more often the older we get. Arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis) is the most common condition affecting the SCJ. Infection, dislocation, and gout can also occur at this joint.

The authors present signs and symptoms and risk factors for each of these conditions. They also include some of the more rare problems that can occur such as Friedrich's disease, condensing osteitis, and cancer.

Treatment is usually for the symptoms and may include rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, or antibiotics (for infection). Surgery is rarely an option but may be needed in cases of severe pain that doesn't respond to other treatment measures.

Thomas O. Higginbotham, MD, and John E. Kuhn, MD. Atraumatic Disorders of the Sternoclavicular Joint. In Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. March/April 2005. Vol. 13. No. 2. Pp. 138-145.


*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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